Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Were You There"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 15:46 – So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. (NIV)
When I was a child, prior to the invention of the Internet, I lived in Europe. I missed my family, who still lived in the United States. Once a week, though, my grandparents would initiate a phone call to us. When the phone finally rang, the conversation would flow as we all connected. Another week would elapse before another call — a speaking and connecting, and then silence.
Not much is written in Scripture about the day between Christ's death and His resurrection. Scripture simply notes that His followers laid Him in a tomb, then observed the Sabbath. If we pause to enter the Sabbath with them, we can see their tears, understand their heartache, and feel their confusion. Jesus had healed the sick. He had preached good news. He had promised everlasting life. Now, He was gone. Doubts and questions surely surfaced in the minds and hearts of His followers on Saturday. They had to await the dawn of Sunday to begin to understand God's purpose.
Often in the middle of great trials, we do not sense the work of God. We see only our own suffering and loss. Yet, we must not mistake the silence of God for His absence. He actively works — without words, as well as with them. His presence pervades moments of grief, loss, and confusion when we make room for His Spirit.
To the Jewish people, Sabbath meant rest and worship. They practiced this ritual while their hope lay in a grave. Let us learn from their example. As we patiently wait for our hope to be fulfilled, let us rest in God's Word. Let us sing songs of worship to His name. Let us spend time in prayer and thanksgiving for His past works. Let us cling to our faith, even if He is silent for a while. Hold fast. Sunday will come!
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You that You have plans for our welfare and that You are constantly working, even in the darkness and confusion. We trust You, knowing that dawn is coming. Thank You for Jesus, the living hope. In His name, we pray. Amen.